By Norman Katende
STATE sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi has promised full government support to the local organising committee preparing for the Africa Cross Country championships that is due at Kololo ceremonial grounds on March 16.
He said this while meeting a team from the Africa Athletics Confederation (CAA) led by vice president David Okeyo at the ministry headquarters at Embassy House in Kampala.
Okeyo was leading the team on a two day inspection of the facilities that will be used for both the continental cross country and World University Cross-country championships that is due March 23 at Entebbe Golf course.
“We have already discussed that with the President who has already promised $100,000 for the event. He is aware and he has been told of the urgency of the event,” said Bakkabulindi.
Bakkabulindi added that it is sports that is promoting the different countries and government is trying to see that they also utilise that in Uganda.
Bakkabulindi, who is also the chairman of the joint local organising committee, said that government is not only aware but also ready to see to it that the event is a success.
Okeyo was in Uganda together with CAA secretary general Faty Lamine from Senegal and CAA technical delegate Eng. Siddig Ahmed Ibrahim from Sudan and were happy with the courses, though they requested for more challenges to be put in both courses.
“It is a good course and spectacular. We are looking at adding some more barriers to make it even more interesting. As the head of the cross country committee, I want people to come to Uganda and enjoy what we have to offer at 1180m above sea level,” said Okeyo after the inspection.
Okeyo requested that government avails Kololo Ceremonial Ground to the organising committee a week before the games so that different requirements are set up in time.
“The success of the continental event will be a stepping stone for Uganda’s bid for the 2017 World cross country so we should all put in our efforts to make it a success,” appealed Okeyo.